Photographers tend to shy away from overcast weather. But, a cloudy day is an excellent time for stunning photography.
These fluffy formations can help give you a great shot! In this article, we’ll tell you all the tips and tricks to great cloudy day photography.
1. Change Your Camera Settings
Cloudy day photography settings are different than what you would use on a clear or overcast day. Every time your light changes, you need to change your settings. If you are shooting in a cloudy environment, your light source (sun) will hide and reveal itself often.
This can be a pain if you need to stick to a strict timescale. As a rule of thumb, the clouds are going to pull 2-3 stops of light from your scene.
You know about Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority, but what about setting your ISO to automatic? Find it in your camera, and go one stop before ISO 100. It should say ‘A’ where the numbers are.
Your other settings will stay the same, but your ISO will increase from 100 to 400 or 800, depending on the light. Keep in mind that you need to use manual mode.
When shooting in soft light or with cirrostratus clouds, you should use the Sunny 16 rule. It helps you find the best exposure setting with the available lighting conditions.
2. Add Sky Definition With Cloud Formations
You may find a great landscape scene, but it can look boring without certain elements.
Clouds are the easiest things to wait for and use as interesting details in your photo. Clouds add texture, shape, and form – some even look like animals.
Take advantage of a cloudy day and use it to create unique compositions.
3. Add Movement With Long Exposures
Long exposures are great at any time of the day or night.
Clouds add texture, shape, and form already. Capturing them with a long shutter speed adds movement to your scene. The results are abstract and painting-like effects.
The mood could be calm or give the viewer a sense of urgency – such as the build-up of a storm.
Place your camera on a tripod, and use a shutter speed of five seconds or longer. Use ND filters and remote. Do not forget to focus before applying the filter. Make sure to use Live View.
4. Take Advantage of Diffused Light and Shoot Portraits
The best reason to do cloudy day photography is the light. An overcast sky creates diffused light. This means, even light is falling over your entire scene.
Bright sunshine and well-defined clouds create strong light and powerful shadows.
The clouds act as a diffuser, making the light nice and soft. It is the perfect time for fashion and portrait photography. The soft light condition smoothens the skin out.